Cotton Bowl: Report card
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Saturday, January 05, 2013
1/05/13 at 3:20 AM
D+: It's hard to believe how lethargic the Sooners looked in their scoreless second half. They had pulled within 14-13 near halftime, and had the ball to open the third quarter. And they took that potential momentum and proceeded to go three-and-out on their first three possessions. Linemen couldn't budge A&M's three-man front. Landry Jones suddenly turned erratic after a 23-yard completion. The game got away quickly.
The Sooners put up 249 yards and 20 first downs in 20 minutes of possession in the first half. What they didn't do was put up enough points. They scored one touchdown and two field goals in three trips inside the Texas A&M 10, not nearly enough production with the Aggies on the verge of a third-quarter explosion.
F: So much for the extra time helping OU come up with something to stop Johnny Manziel. The freshman quarterback put on a Heisman-worthy performance with 229 yards on 17 carries - enough to break the all-bowls record for rushing yards by a QB - plus 287 yards through the air. The Aggies cranked out a Cotton Bowl record 633 yards on 66 plays, their 326 yards rushing balanced by 307 through the air.
Safety Javon Harris had a pretty good game, but he was alone on an OU defense that was completely overwhelmed and outclassed by Manziel, his linemen and skill players, plus the scheme put together by the A&M staff.
B: The Sooners needed touchdowns in the first half inside the A&M 10. When they called on Michael Hunnicutt, at least, he delivered 23- and 24-yard field goals. Tress Way didn't get off a punt in the first half, and averaged 49.4 yards on his five kicks in the second.
OU didn't get much in the return game, but it didn't cost much. The only mistake was Jalen Saunders fair-catching a punt on the final play of the first half, when he should have at least had a go at a last-ditch return. He had some room, too.
Oklahoma's Blake Bell runs the ball under pressure from Jonathan Stewart (left), Howard Matthews and Steven Jenkins during Friday's Cotton Bowl. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World
Oklahoma's Landry Jones yells at Sterling Shepard as they walk off the field. OU had failed on a fourth-down conversion. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World